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Mother of teenage boy arrested not happy with officers' punishment

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Posted at 7:28 PM, Jul 30, 2019

LANSING, Mich. — The mother of a 16-year-old girl who was arrested by Lansing police said she is not happy with the punishment the officers received.

She called it a "slap on the wrist" for abusing her daughter.

The mom of the 14-year-old boy who was also arrested didn't use as strong of language, but she said she isn't happy either.

Chief Mike Yankowski said Officer Howley and Officer Ueberroth will be getting additional training. Erica Gray, the mother of the teenage boy who was arrested, said that would be beneficial although she doesn't think they should be out on the streets.

"Maybe removed from the streets. Maybe not completely removed from the police department but in this aspect as far as them being called out for stuff, I just wouldn't trust them," Gray said.

Gray said it's unfair her son and his girlfriend who were arrested are currently in custody, meanwhile the two officers involved will soon return to the streets.

"They're able to be out here and if I had did something like that, I wouldn't be out here. If I had done something like that to my kids, I definitely wouldn't be out here," Gray said.

She's referring to the striking technique Officer Lindsey Howley used on the 16-year-old girl. Chief Yankowski said the officer didn't perform the technique with malice or harm, but admits Howley could've used more verbal de-escalation and called for more back-up which Gray agrees.

"If there was more police here then he wouldn't have gotten the way he did in the car. He wouldn't have gotten in trouble looking at that charge for the car being hit or whatever he did to the car. if there was more police there i just feel like then she knew she was frustrated then she could've already handed the children to a different car," Gray said.

Yankowski said they officers will get additional training and Gray hopes they'll be taught how to deal with children from troubled or difficult backgrounds.

"If they don't know these type of children or coming to these type of neighborhoods, they're not going to know how to approach anything," Gray said.

She says the whole ordeal has been stressful and traumatizing for her son, but is hopeful there will be change.

"It does bother me personally, but at the same time, I'm also forgiving person so I do believe in second chances. I do believe in people learning different techniques and being able to utilize them," Gray said.

The 16-year-old girl is due back in court Wednesday morning.

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